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Rebuilding a brand is not particularly easy. Paula Deen is finding this out right now, appearing on The Today Show for the first time since her disastrous appearance on Today more than a year ago. At the time, Deen was fighting accusations that she was a racist and wasn’t handling the subsequent questions thrown at her all that well. Now, she’s back and ready to rebuild her empire. Check out her eloquent apology to fans, below.

On Tuesday, Deen headed to The Today Show to talk about the events transpiring after a deposition was released in which she stated she had used the “n” word in the past. Her hordes of fans were disappointed when the news broke. She made it worse when she shied away from a Today Show appearance. Then, when she finally appeared on camera, instead of apologizing, she lashed out at her critics and came across as a crazy person. She now tells Matt Lauer she cannot even look back at the 2013 interview.
"I looked at none of it Matt because I didn't recognize that woman. That was a woman in shock trying to understand what had happened. The cold, hard fact is, Matt, "I probably should not have been here. I probably should have been at home, maybe even under the care of a doctor."

Although Deen was subsequently dropped by many of her corporate sponsors, including Ballantine Books, the Food Network and Walmart, she now sees her past year as a learning experience, noting she “had to get off the merry-go-round” for a while to reflect. She also says she understands now how her words could have affected her fans.
“Words are so powerful. They can hurt. They can make people happy. Well, my words hurt people. They disappointed people and frankly, I disappointed myself. And for that, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry for the hurt that I caused people because it went deep.”

Deen also points out that the lawsuit that spawned the crumbling of her empire was dropped, and she’s ready to get back into the foodie game, once more. She has a brand new digital channel, The Paula Deen Network, launching soon, and she wants to write a book in the future. Now, we’ll have to wait and see if time and an apology is enough for Deen to attract fans, once more.

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